Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mythology, horses, and a hint of magic

The Scorpio Races
Scholastic, October, 2011
Maggie Stiefvater's newest young adult novel, The Scorpio Races, is lyrically written and features just a hint of fantasy. Stiefvater's heroine, Puck Connolly, lives on an island where the sea is very much alive, a place where the capaill uisce,or horses of the sea, walk on land. These horses, though blood thirsty and fey, are faster than any normal horse. Each year at the Scorpio Races men ride the capaill uisce at the edge of the ocean in a reckless and bloody race. Sean, the best rider with the fastest capaill uisce, has won the race for the past handful of years, but has his own reasons for entering this year. Puck, in an attempt to keep her brother on the island and her family in their house, enters, though she has only a pony to ride. Though the two know little of one another, both are children of the island, who love the sea, the land, and the horses. Sean and Puck each hope to win more than money in the races, but while many die in the Scorpio races, there can only be one winner.
Light fantasy and romance combine in this strong coming of age novel, slightly reminiscent of Robin McKinley's Blue Sword.

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